Flexible Working in Operational Roles

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Conference
2016 Police & Justice Service Group Conference
Date
14 June 2016
Decision
Carried as Amended

Over the last 4 years we have seen a wholesale reduction in police staff work forces across the country

At the time of the general election in 2015, police staff budgets have been cut by 20%. The impact of this funding reduction has fallen disproportionately on police staff.

Police staff, rather than police officers, have borne the brunt of police funding cuts

Between March 2010 and September 2013 total police staff numbers in England and Wales have declined by 18.73%.

a)A remarkable variation exists in the cuts to the police staff workforce in different forces;

b)18 forces have cut their police staff numbers by more than the average reduction of 18.73% and 24 have cut by less than this figure;

c)71% of police staff numbers have been cut in Lincolnshire and Cleveland as a result of the transfer of police staff to the private sector;

d)Northamptonshire has the highest level of police staff cuts, which do not involve privatisation, at 35%;

e)At the other extreme, there has been an actual increase in police staff of 1.97% in Leicestershire.

These cuts have had a dramatic impact on the remaining staff and in particular those staff in operational roles who request flexible working.

It has become common place to see a disproportionate impact on those staff who perform operational duties being refused flexible working over those staff who perform non- operational roles.

This in-turn has forced highly skilled operational police staff to take up lower paid roles where there skills and expertise have simply gone to waste at a huge cost to the force and the individual staff member.

We are concerned that if this trend continues staff who require flexible working for caring responsibilities will be sidelined into lower paid roles with fewer opportunities for career progression which will ultimately lead to the down skilling of a section of police staff.

A high proportion of flexible working applications are made by our female members of staff , and we believe this could result in a unequal balance for female members of staff in higher graded operational roles.

Conference calls on the Service Group Executive to:

1)conduct a survey across all forces to obtain accurate data on this issue;

2)work with the college of policing through the equality and diversity forum to raise our concerns;

3)work with the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and the National Police Chiefs Council to highlight this issue and address it at a national level to formulate a strategy to address this growing issue.